Completion of final section of Royal Canal Greenway in Longford will help area realise its great tourism potential – Minister Ring

Completion of final section of Royal Canal Greenway in Longford will help area realise its great tourism potential – Minister Ring

Project funded with €525,000 grant from Department of Rural and Community Development

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, today opened the final section of the Royal Canal Greenway in Co Longford. The 6km stretch of greenway between Ballymahon and Killashee was built by Longford County Council using €525,000 allocated by Minister Ring through his Department’s Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.

Minister Ring said: “I’m delighted to be in here in the Midlands to open this stretch of the Royal Canal Greenway which will serve as a wonderful local amenity and help attract visitors to the area. Longford has been overlooked for too long but I firmly believe that it is set to take off as a destination for visitors. I am delighted that my Department has been able to invest in the infrastructure which will help bring visitors to this area and serve as a wonderful local amenity.

“With the opening of this 6km stretch of greenway, there is now a continuous greenway along the Royal Canal all the way through counties Longford and Westmeath. I hope that we will soon have a continuous greenway from Dublin to the River Shannon along the Royal Canal in the near future. Having witnessed the transformative economic and social impact of the Great Western Greenway and the Waterford Greenway, I am confident that the Royal Canal Greenway can have a similar impact on this part of the Midlands.

“The Royal Canal Greenway dovetails perfectly with the Center Parcs in Ballymahon which will soon attract a huge number of visitors to this area. I am glad to note that my Department has allocated €100,000 towards the restoration of the White Bridge over the River Inny which will enable visitors to Center Parcs to access the Greenway.

“This is the kind of project that can make a significant impact on the regeneration of rural areas both economically and socially and it is a great example of the kind of initiative that I hope to see coming through under the new Rural Regeneration and Development Fund announced last week. €1 billion in additional funding will be invested in rural communities through my Department over the next ten years.

“According to Failte Ireland Tourism Facts 2016 over 2.5million visitors engaged in either Walking/Cross Country Walking or cycling when they visited Ireland in 2016. This coupled with the increasing use of such facilities by our own population reinforces the importance of facilities such as the Royal Canal Greenway from both an economic and social perspective.”